Careers

Richard Branson's daughter says this habit of her dad's will make anyone more successful

Virgin "Speedboat"
Photo courtesy of WEconomy

Holly Branson is a doctor, philanthropist, wife, mother — and the oldest child of billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson.

In 2008, she joined her dad's company, the Virgin Group, as an intern, after deciding to take a short break from practicing medicine. Her one-year hiatus from the medical field turned into a 10-year career journey, and she now helps manage people and purpose at Virgin Management. She's also played critical role in expanding Virgin Hotels.

In her recent book, "WEconomy," co-authored with philanthropists Craig and Marc Kielburger, Branson talks about the importance of building a purposeful career that allows you to make money while impacting the world around you. She says her dad is the role model for this, and credits his success not only to his business savvy, but to his habit of listening and taking advice from everyone he encounters.

Holly and Sam Branson with their father Richard Branson in central London.
Getty Images | Ian West - PA Images
Holly and Sam Branson with their father Richard Branson in central London.

"Dad was (and still is) open, honest, and unafraid to ask questions or seek advice — even from his children," writes Branson.

"I think that is really important," she tells CNBC Make It. "Listen as much as you speak, or listen more than you speak. There are a lot of great things my dad has found by listening to everyone."

Branson says that her dad lives by the idea that you can get great advice from anyone, whether they're a CEO, a receptionist or a stranger on the street. She says when it comes to the Virgin Group, her dad especially makes a point to listen to the advice of his employees and customers.

"If he is sitting on Virgin Atlantic he will sit and chat with the customers and ask, 'Do you have any advice for me? Do you have any tips? Is there anything you don't like today? What can I change?'" she says. "And he writes everything down and he will make sure he takes action on it."

She says that being open to advice can help both entrepreneurs and employees excel in their careers, as well as find ways for how they can help their communities.

On the website of his non-profit, Virgin Unite, 67-year-old Branson talks about how he spends the majority of his time trying to make the world a better place by advocating for social issues like gay rights, drug policy reform and prohibiting the death penalty.

Similarly, 36-year-old Branson also prides herself on using her career to bring about change. In addition to serving as the chair of Virgin Unite, she is also the founder and trustee of her own non-profit, Big Change, and the co-chair of We Day UK, an annual event that celebrates young people making a difference in the world.

"As Dad would say," Branson writes, "'business should make lives better.'"

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